Gang Members Outnumber Cops in Chicago

According to a recent Fox 32 report that cited Geraldo Rivera gang members in Chicago outnumber police officers by a ratio of 10-1. You can tell this was a very serious report as it cited one of the most respected journalists in the country with a specialization of looking for long lost vaults. Rivera supposedly was actually citing statistics on gang members in Chicago that he heard from Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent David Brown.

This report is proof of why it is so important for elected leaders and criminal justice officials to make sure the are citing only verifiable statistics. Now, in this specific instance this is exactly what Lightfoot and Brown wanted to occur when they cited this bogus statistic. They wanted the media to run wild and report this statistic without forcing them to cite exactly how the determined the number of gang members in Chicago.

This number is most likely generated by the Chicago Police Department and their horrific and broken gang database. ProPublica reporting by Mick Dumke has proven that the CPD has basically no controls over who gets entered in to the database and for what reasons. Some of the gang members listed in the database were well over 100 years old. Simply put the CPD and city officials have absolutely no way to reliably know how many gang members there are in Chicago and neither does the media. But this reality has no stopped the media from continuing to serve as a mega phone on this issue.

Also on our show today:

  • FOP Watch Segment: FOP President Public Safety Committee comments
  • WBEZ on CPD officer burnout
  • CWB Backlog story

Images from today’s show

Videos from today’s show

John Catanzara, FOP President, public comments at meeting of Committee on Public Safety.
Fox 32 Report

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Recommended Articles

Chicago Justice Podcast

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

Subscribe To CJP's Latest Updates

Sign up today for insider details about our advocacy & litigation campaigns!


You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or share your information.